There are plenty of successful professionals in our town, but how did they get started? What challenges did they overcome? And what words of advice might they have for young people trying to figure out their own future? That is the premise for a new program aimed at high school students, created by the Rye Youth Council Employment Service, and hosted by Serendipity Labs. The first CAREER GPS event featured local speakers from the field of marketing, media, and communications – popular fields for people interested in writing and the liberal arts.

The panel included Tina Exarhos, Chief Content Officer for NowThis Media; Aaron Griffiths, Global Creative Lead at Facebook and Instagram; Eliza Harris, Chief Operating Officer, Indagare Travel; Josh Nathan, media lawyer and former Public Radio executive; and Marguerite Ward, writer and editor on the “TODAY” show. Andrea Atkins Hessekiel, journalist and college essay coach, moderated the event.

The participants shared an early love of creativity and writing, but their paths to success were very different. Marguerite Ward, a 2008 Rye High School graduate, urged students not to worry too much about “the right college” and shared her own tumultuous journey, which saw her being rejected by her dream school, to sympathetic groans from the audience. Ward went on to describe how she found mentors and ultimate success at a different college. Other panelists agreed the pedigree of a college mattered much less than a passion for the job.

When asked about bumps on the road, Tina Exarhos shared how she had signed up for journalism classes in college, only to find that it really wasn’t her passion after all, and Josh Nathan told about his short-lived time in an investment firm. However, neither was willing to call those decisions mistakes, recognizing that they were important experiences on the path to where they are today.

Aaron Griffiths stressed the importance of following one’s inner voice in spite of outside criticism. The disparaging words of a professor made him work that much harder at joining the advertising industry, and in the end he felt almost grateful for that extra push.

Eliza Harris told students that sometimes, amazing opportunities may seem like nothing special. Rejected by more prestigious publications, she was disappointed to work for a small, unknown magazine – but in the end, that experience helped her acquire many more skills than would have otherwise been possible. Tina Exarhos added that people change jobs quite frequently these days, and reminded students that their first job would not be their last.

All panelists stressed the importance of good and prolific writing. And in this age of YouTube and blogs, several suggested making your mark early, perhaps by contributing to a blog or making videos to show passion for the field. Marguerite Ward said she submitted to several obscure blogs, just to get the experience and exposure.

Josh Nathan said he was always looking for people ready to go the extra mile. “If I ask someone to find me three examples of something, I want the person who comes back and says ‘Here are five, but these are the best three in my opinion.’”

The students were impressed. Said one, “We only know these people now that they are successful, and sometimes that can be intimidating because you think ‘how can I ever live up to that?’ It was a good reminder to hear that they too had to overcome obstacles and figure it out along the way.”

The Rye Youth Council plans more panels in the future in a variety of fields — science, entrepreneurship, and health care, and also concepts like “doing good in the world.”

Hessekial said, “We hope these panels will help teens understand how you transition from being someone with an interest in something to someone who passionately pursues that interest in a professional setting.”

— Kristin Jautz

Panelists at recent Rye Youth Council program for high school students



Chamber Music at Rye Presbyterian Church continues its 2017-2018 season on Sunday, February 25 at 2:30 p.m. Pianist Jeewon Park, violinist Anton Miller, violist Rita Porfiris, and cellist Edward Arron will perform a program of piano quartets by Antonin Dvořák, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann.

To reserve a seat, contact Ronald Arron, artistic director of the series, at 914-523-4646 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rye Presbyterian Church is pleased to host this series and these musicians as a part of its larger outreach to the community.



Since August 2016, Damien Vera’s shimmering sculpture, <Cope>, has delighted visitors of Rye Town Park. Until recently, the sculpture was on loan from the Art Students League of New York as part of The Rye Arts Center’s Public Art Initiative. But with the approval of The Rye Town Park Commission, the Center has purchased the sculpture so that it can remain in the park permanently.

The 14-foot tall sculpture was first installed in Manhattan’s Riverside Park along the Hudson in 2012. Comprised of five curved steel towers, the outward-facing sides of each are made of stainless steel. The inward-facing sides consist of a more harsh and industrial steel. Hidden within each structure is a sculpture of a human figure, visible through a small slit. The figures will only be seen by the most inquisitive of viewers. Vera wanted to create an environment with which the viewer could interact.

Cast against the beachside park, some see the structures as sails or fins, while others see a shining claw breaking through the earth. The artist encourages viewers to use their imagination and find their own interpretation.

“This was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” said Rye Arts Center Executive Director Meg Rodriguez. “We’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response for the piece and were given the chance to purchase it for a fraction of its value.”

Funds to purchase and maintain the sculpture were provided by Rye Arts Center patrons Gail and Ted Roman and The Wallace Fox Foundation. “As a permanent installation in Rye Town Park,” said Gail, “Cope is a wonderful manifestation of The Arts Center’s mission to inspire everyone’s interest in art that is ‘characterized by artistic tradition, educational value, and a spirit of innovation.’”

Damien Vera, who grew up visiting Playland, says, “The location just felt right.”

Fordham University School of Law professor and retired dean (1982-2002) John D. Feerick will be speaking at The Osborn Sterling Auditorium on Monday, February 26 at 10:30. His topic: the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which he helped draft 50 years ago.

Mr. Feerick is recognized as the pre-eminent scholar on the subject of setting forth the succession process if the President is no longer able to fulfill the duties of the office. In his talk at The Osborn, he will detail the genesis of the amendment, which was adopted on February 10, 1967.

In August 2017, Mr. Feerick received the American Bar Association’s highest honor, the ABA Medal.

The event is free and open to all. RSVP by calling 925-8218 or email RSVP@ the


It takes a committee, in this case The Rye Sustainability Committee, to come up with a simple plan and quietly execute it.

Their latest endeavor, Put A Cork In It, is a prime example.

Committee member Gretchen Crowley, who led the project, said they were looking for something all the dining and wining establishments could get involved with. Rather than tossing corks, which can’t be reused, in the trash, why not start a local initiative to ensure that more of them are recycled, she posited.

Crowley learned from another Rye resident, Karen Bresolin, that she had initiated an effort with American Yacht Club.

As of February 13, nearly every restaurant, club, and liquor shop in town has signed on to the Rye Sustainability Cork Recycling Campaign:

American Yacht Club

Apawamis Club




Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse

G Griffin Wines & Spirits

Kelly’s Sea Level

La Panetière

Manursing Island Club

Morgans Fish House

Rosemary and Vine

Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro

Rye Grill & Bar

The Rye Roadhouse

The Red Pony

Shenorock Shore Club

Town Dock

Village Social

Westchester Country Club

Wine at Five

Some establishments have placed cardboard boxes near their entrance, others have put glass bowls on the bar where customers are free to deposit corks taking up space in their kitchen drawers.

The Sustainability Committee partnered with ReCORK, the biggest natural cork recycling program in North America, which supplies receptacles for the used corks which are mailed at no cost back to them and ground down and used in making, among other things, yoga blocks, surfboard traction pads, and shoe soles.

ReCORK, which currently has 3,000 drop-off locations, is proud to report that through its alliances with businesses and organizations, it has collected 70 million natural corks.

For their part, the Rye Sustainability Committee is content to have helped Rye businesses reduce the amount of waste they put in the waste stream.

The Committee, which wrote a Sustainability Plan for the City of Rye; pushed for a Reusable Bag Initiative adopted by the City; started the Rye Tree Fund; and created the Healthy Yard Program, is already working on its next environmental education and awareness act.

In doing their homework, they discovered that plastic straws are among the top ten waste items on beaches. Five hundred million straws are used in the U.S. every day! The Committee made a presentation on the subject at the Chamber of Commerce earlier this month and has already reached out to the Pearl Restaurant Group (Ruby’s, Rye Grill, Morgans) and Rosemary and Vine, who’ve signed on to no longer use plastic straws. During Earth Week, they are screening “Straws: Making a Sea of Change, One Straw at a Time,” a film by Linda Booker with narration by Tim Robbins, at Rye Country Day School, which has been a steady supporter of the RSC. For free tickets and a free reusable straw, register at

— Robin Jovanovich

Good morning. I thought you/Rye Record might be interested in one of RSC’s most recent initiatives - “Put a Cork In It”. It’s a recycling initiative designed to encourage cork recycling by food establishments and residents. The goal is to encourage more recycling through a simple community exercise. More information and the list of participating businesses/clubs (now 20) can be found in the link below. Gretchen Crowley, copied here, has spearheaded the program and can answer any further questions.

I’m also copying Melissa Grieco and Annalise Stack, RSC’s new Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.


It is always difficult to choose three winners from among the nearly 80 creative submissions from Rye High School students for the annual Head’s Up! Distracted Walking and Driving Poster Contest.

But a group of community leaders, which included the Mayor, the Commissioner of Public Safety, the Schools Superintendent, the City Planner, and directors of the Rye Y and Rye Arts Center, made the final selection last month and an opening reception and awards ceremony was held at the Rye Arts Center on January 24.

Congratulations to:

First Place: Sophie Magalhaes

Second Place: Courtney Lopp

Third Place: Sally Eggers

All of the posters are on display at the Rye Arts Center.


Sophie Magalhaes

Courtney Lopp and Sally Eggers

Photos by Bill Eggers